Restaurant Review: The Levant Lounge, Wigmore Street, London

Levant Lounge, London - www.worldwidewriter.co.uk
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The whole area of London between Edgware Road and Marylebone High Street seems to be full of Arabic and Middle Eastern restaurants and I had already enjoyed excellent Moroccan and Turkish meals. So I was keen to see if the Levant Lounge on Wigmore Street would live up to my experience of the previous two nights. I was not disappointed: the sumptuous décor and delicious Lebanese food made this a meal to remember.

Levant Lounge, London - www.worldwidewriter.co.uk
The opulent furnishings of the Levant Lounge

Sumptuous Furnishings of the Levant Lounge

It was our second visit to the Levant Lounge. The first time we had found the loud music and aggressive belly dancing rather off-putting, but arriving early in the evening (they serve food from 5 o’clock) we had the place to ourselves. I was immediately struck by how this place reminded me of restaurants I had visited on the Arabian Peninsula, with its low light and opulent red and gold furnishings. And, of course, what I always think of as Arabic pop music, although not too loud at this time of day.

Levant Lounge, London - www.worldwidewriter.co.uk
The exterior of the Levant Lounge, along a small side street

The menu has all the things you would expect in a Lebanese restaurant, and one or two less common items. I was pleased to see a range of vegetarian dishes, even if a little disappointed that there was no vegetarian option in the long list of tagines. And, unlike most restaurants on the Arabian Peninsula, there is a variety of alcoholic drinks as well, including a separate list of cocktails.  

Excellent Lebanese Food

The service was good and friendly and it was not long before our starters arrived. We had kibbé la’kteen (deep fried pumpkin and cracked wheat parcels) and sambusak bil jbneh (pastries with cheese and mint). They arrived with a mint and yoghurt dip and puffy Arabic bread – both were tasty and I enjoyed having a vegetarian kibbeh rather than the more usual meaty version.

Cheese and mint pastries
Sambusak bil jbneh (feta cheese and mint pastries)

The main courses were marinated tiger prawns and halloumi steak. Lawrence pronounced his prawns “excellent” and appreciated the fact that he had been given a finger bowl to use after peeling them (a detail sometimes overlooked by restaurants). My halloumi was equally good and was accompanied by a mound of quinoa stuffed with vegetables with a nice minty flavour. My only slight criticism was that I would have preferred less cheese and more vegetables.

Tiger prawns
Marinated tiger prawns with salad
Halloumi steak
Halloumi steak with quinoa and vegetables

Time for Dessert

The dessert menu was not offered automatically but it arrived quickly when I requested it. I ordered the mint tea with “baclava, pistachios and turkish delight”, expecting a small plate of sweets. I was totally unprepared for the feast that arrived – a stack of four plates of pastries, turkish delight and fruit. We wished that we hadn’t also ordered the cheesecake (although it was delicious). Fortunately the server offered to box up what we could not eat so that we could take it away with us (it made a good breakfast the following morning!).

Dessert at the Levant Lounge - www.worldwidewriter.co.uk
The dessert was more than I was expecting!

The meal was not cheap, but overall it was a great experience. I will be going back!

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16 thoughts on “Restaurant Review: The Levant Lounge, Wigmore Street, London”

  1. We like eating earlier in the evening (old-timers syndrome?) since it's usually quieter and we can avoid the crowds. So much of the pleasure of travel is trying new foods and restaurants and it looks like you picked a winner. You're descriptions and photos of the various dishes had my mouth watering! Anita @ No Particular Place To Go

  2. You're right, sometimes the better experience can be had before the restaurant fills up with the nightly crowd and more intense entertainment. 😉 The food looks great and the atmosphere authentic.

  3. I love Middle Eastern cuisine having spent most of my life in the Middle East. I must say very rarely can we find a vegetarian version of the Kibbeh here in the Middle East, I'm curious and I'd love to try that. In fact, I've never come across an Arabic dish here in Dubai with pumpkin (which I love) as one of the ingredients. So I imagine this place has a very creative chef!

  4. myadventuresacrosstheworld

    Mmmmm I think I have been to this place several times. I like it so much that I would take a train from Colchester for one hour just to have dinner there. Thanks for reminding me of it. I am off to London next Sunday. Lebanese food I am coming!!!

  5. The food sounds amazing although maybe I'd skip dessert. And I'd skip the restaurant on the loud music hours too, very unpleasant.

  6. Oh the shrimps… They look so nice! And the feta/mint that's a thing I haven't try but I love feta, so could really give that a try!
    Shame there is no chance for us to find a Lebanese in our area but this one looks great!

  7. The food looks great. But I simply hate the restaurants with loud music. They should always be in the background creating ambiance, not try to suppress everything. Also the dessert looked like a force feeding item.

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I have been writing and travelling for many years (almost 70 countries at the last count), and I’ve visited every continent except Antarctica. This website is my attempt to inform and inspire other travellers, and to share some of the things I’ve discovered along the way. Read more…

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